Tora! Tora! Tora!
(out of 5)
The attack on Pearl Harbour is memorialized in a giant epic project that sees American and Japenese studios admirably joining forces. The Japanese sections (originally to be directed by Akira Kurosawa) see the nation gearing up for a carefully prepared and meticulously planned attack on the Hawaiian military base, anxious to get America involved in the war occurring everywhere else in the world. Meanwhile, on American shores (directed by Richard Fleischer), uniformed men debate attacks in between missed opportunities in diplomacy with Japanese contacts, suspicions arising of an attack but none taken too seriously. When the bombs descend and chaos breaks loose, the film is an incredibly impressive collection of scenes of battle, with thrilling, Oscar-winning special effects taking you right into the heart of the situation and convincing you that you are really there. Unfortunately, that’s the last half hour of a more than two hour long film, and the sequences leading up to the exciting conclusion are primarily wooden conversations that raise no pulse in terms of character or conflict. In accomplishing accuracy the filmmakers have robbed the story of any flavor; on the other hand, Michael Bay’s attempt to improve on the matter was far worse.
Produced by Elmo Williams
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Costume Design by Courtney Haslam
Cast Tags: Asao Uchida, Bontarô Miake, Carl Reindel, E.G. Marshall, Edmon Ryan, Edward Andrews, Eijirô Tôno, Elven Havard, Frank Aletter, George Macready, Hank Jones, Hiroshi Nihon’yanagi, Hisao Toake, Ichirô Ryûzaki, James Whitmore, Jason Robards, Jeff Donnell, Jerry Fogel, Joseph Cotten, June Dayton,Junya Usami, Karl Lukas, Kazuko Ichikawa, Kazuo Kitamura, Keith Andes, Koreya Senda, Leon Ames, Leora Dana, Martin Balsam, Neville Brand, Norman Alden, Richard Anderson, Richard Erdman, Rick Cooper, Ron Masak, Sô Yamamura, Shôgo Shimada, Shunichi Nakamura, Susumu Fujita, Takahiro Tamura, Tatsuya Mihashi, Toshio Hosokawa, Walter Brooke, Wesley Addy
Best Special Visual Effects (A.D. Flowers, L.B. Abbott)
Best Art Direction (art direction: Jack Martin Smith, Yoshiro Muraki, Richard Day, Taizoh Kawashima; set decoration: Walter M. Scott, Norman Rockett, Carl Biddiscombe)
Best Cinematography (Charles F. Wheeler, Osami Furuya, Sinsaku Himeda, Masamichi Satoh)
Best Film Editing (James E. Newcom, Pembroke J. Herring, Inoue Chikaya)
Best Sound (Murray Spivack, Herman Lewis)
National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films